Easy recycling tips to bring along on your summer vacation

Mother and daughter picking up trash by beach
Photo credit Getty Images

It’s that time of year again – summertime!

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And after more than two years of intermittent lockdowns and COVID-19 troubles, this summer holds especially exciting possibilities as restrictions have been lifted around much of the country.

So grab those coolers out of the garage, plan some picnics, or pack up the car for a road trip. But remember, it’s easy to get swept up in summer’s top-down, breezy fun and forget to clean up after yourselves sometimes as you walk off into the gorgeous sunset.

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Communities for Recycling whipped up a simple list of Dos and Don’ts to help you have a fun and green summer.

DO:

- Buy products that are reusable, compostable, or recyclable.
- Locate public space recycling bins, and make sure you follow the local recycling rules, which vary from town to town.
- Make sure to have a plan for properly and safely disposing of your trash on long hikes and walks. Bring extra garbage bags. Of course, do not litter!
- Look for recyclable containers for food, sunscreen, and other gear you need for your outing.
- On those long road trips, consider bringing along a recycling container that you can keep in the car somewhere.
- Ask campgrounds, hotels, or lodging places you’ll be staying at about their recycling procedures.

DON’T:

- Don’t place foam containers or coolers in recycling bins or containers.
- Rinse out, empty, and dry any recyclable containers that have been used for food or drink before throwing them out.
- Don’t try to recycle plastic grocery bags - like foam containers, they can often be returned to participating retail locations.
- Don’t assume that recycling standards in your area are the same everywhere. Ask around about local rules.
- Don’t place disposable cutlery, straws, plates, napkins, or paper towels in recycling.
- Certain items can cause serious injury to recycling workers and should be donated, reused, or safely disposed of. Do not put beach chairs, towels, floats, fireworks, batteries, or propane canisters in the recycling.

AT-HOME RECYCLING TIPS:

Of course with inflation always top of mind these days, you may choose a simpler staycation. So here are some tips on staying the green course at home.

- For cookouts or barbecues, remember to set out your recycling bin, preferably beside your trash can, and perhaps label the recycling bin.

- When shopping for supplies, be sure to purchase products that are reusable, compostable, or recyclable. Remind guests of your recycling plan.

- However you choose to enjoy the summer months, add recycling habits to your summer plans. Check here for more tips.

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